Portugal’s own Tiago Monteiro will start on pole position for Round 9 of the World Touring Car Championship in Portimão. Monteiro posted a time of 1:55.372s despite having a collision with BMW’s Andy Priaulx early on in Q1, causing them both to pit before posting a flying lap. Priaulx managed to get straight back on track again, with Monteiro missing half of the session.

It was Gabriele Tarquini who was provisionally quickest, with a time of 1:56.097, before a tussle in the dying seconds of the session to se who would qualify for Q2. Priaulx managed fourth as Yvan Muller, who was teetering on the edge of being knocked out of the top ten, improved to second. Michel Nykjær would have made it though to the top ten, had it not been for Alain Menu demoting him with his last lap. Monteiro topped the timesheets in Q1 followed by Tarquini, Muller, Huff, Farfus, Priaulx, Menu, Gené, Michelisz and series newcomer Colin Turkington. In qualifing in the top ten, reining BTCC Champion Turkington cemented his place as the top Independent driver.

In Q2, everyone left it late to post their first times, with a flurry of fast laps coming in the final four minutes. Monteiro posted a lap of 1:55.372s  which was untouchable in the final moments. Yvan Muller came closest with a time of 1:55.425s.

Perhaps the most disapointed driver of the day was Priaulx, having performed so well in Friday’s test, he qualified down in eighth.

So the top ten for Round 9 looks like this : Monteiro from Muller followed by Farfus, Tarquini, Huff, Michelisz, Gené, Priaulx, Menu and Turkington.